The women’s swimming and diving team remains winless on the season after suffering its fourth straight loss on Wednesday evening in a dual meet at Wellesley College.
With a final score of 179-119, the Wellesley Blue recorded the convincing victory, but the meet was not without bright spots for the Jumbos. Seniors Jenny Hu and Sami Bloom earned five victories between them, with Hu winning the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke and 200 meter individual medley by large margins.
“I’m really happy with the times I swam – they were all best times for this season and [it] is a really encouraging sign that I’m getting back into my groove,” Hu told the Daily in an email. “I’m most happy [because] I was able to win all my races for my team and score points at the meet.”
Meanwhile, Bloom excelled on the diving board, winning from both one and three meters. The victories were the second at each height on the season for Bloom, whose task was made easier by Wellesley, which only used one diver in both events. The other two competitors, freshman Kylie Reiman and sophomore Shivani Bigler, were both from Tufts.
“I’m happy with my personal performance against Wellesley,” Bloom told the Daily in an email. “[But] I want to work on returning to doing my harder dives, which I haven’t been able to practice because of injuries to my hip and wrist.”
Junior Samantha Sliwinski also had a strong performance, posting two second-place finishes in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle sprint events. Sliwinksi also finished a close third in the 200 meter freestyle.
Despite the positives, the meet was still a disappointment for the Tufts squad, which has yet to taste victory this season and defeated the same Wellesley team last year by a wide margin.
The early season dual- and tri-meet schedule has been a struggle for the Jumbos, who were blown out by the Conn. College Camels and the Middlebury Panthers in the first contest of the year on Nov. 16, before losing a closer contest at home to the Keene State Owls on Nov. 23.
Despite early frustration, the team is still hopeful that, with plenty of time left on the schedule, there is still an opportunity to improve.
“I know it may appear that the team has gotten off to a tough beginning, but we have had a lot of amazing individual performances, and we always keep improving throughout the year,” Bloom said. “I don’t think there is a specific event that needs improving. I know that we are going to keep our energy levels up and keep improving through winter break.”
Tufts has just one meet left prior to the break – this weekend’s MIT Invitational. The Jumbos will then go on a two-week training trip to Florida. Immediately afterward, the team has three home dual meets within a week against MIT, Wesleyan and Wheaton. The Jumbos will need to be firing on all cylinders as they come off the long break.
“We all know that it is incredibly important to keep up with training every day during this break,” Hu said. “We have a very grueling training trip in Florida at the start of the new year that is two weeks long, and I have all the confidence in the world that the girls will be ready to compete after that trip.”
For now, coach Nancy Bigelow’s team has to turn its focus to the pools at MIT.
“Our team [needs to go] into meets with more competitive energy and confidence in our racing abilities,” Hu said. “Finishing strong and really winning the close races is definitely somewhere we can improve.”